SAN ANTONIO — Advantage, Rangers after the first game of the Big League Weekend against San Diego, and also give the Rangers the advantage as they try to become the most popular baseball team in Texas.Judging by the 34,641 fans at the Alamodome during a 5-4 win over the Padres, the Rangers already have made a favorable impression in a market that was in the Houston TV territory on Fox Sports Southwest. But the Astros have found a new TV partner, and now the Rangers can be seen here.Recent success helps, too.Leave it to a native Texan who used to play for the Astros and is now with the Rangers to explain the Texas takeover.“Texas fans, except for the Aggies, are front-runners,” designated hitter Lance Berkman said. “When Texas won the national championship in football in 2005, it was crazy. When we went to the World Series with the Astros in 2005, you saw Astros hats and jerseys everywhere.“That’s the same with the Rangers when they went to the World Series two out of the last three years. They hold the upper hand now, and they’ll keep the upper hand if they keep winning. The Rangers have made huge inroads, and this is a real feather in the Rangers’ cap playing in front of a huge crowd in neutral territory.”Alexi Ogando allowed three runs on two homers in four innings in his final preseason tuneup. One homer, a two-run shot by Jedd Gyorko, was a byproduct of the zany right-field dimensions.“In other stadiums that would be a fly ball,” said Ogando, who walked three and struck out four. “I’m ready for the season to start as far as my control. I think my command is there.”Mitch Moreland had an RBI double to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth and capped the three-run inning by scoring on a balk.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson